Google Celebrates ‘Highlife’ Musician Oliver De Coque’s 74th Posthumous Birthday
Google created a doodle on Wednesday to commemorate the 74th posthumous birthday of one of Nigeria’s finest highlife artists, Oliver De Coque.
Oliver De Coque, real name Oliver Sunday Akanite, was widely recognized as Africa’s “Highlife King” and one of the continent’s most respected recording artists. On June 20, 2008, he died at the age of 66.
His “Ogene” brand of highlife music fused contemporary and traditional Igbo music, yielding hits such as “Biri Ka Mbiri,” “Ana Enwe,” and “Nnukwu Mmawu,” among others.
In 1994, the University of New Orleans bestowed an honorary doctorate of music on him in recognition of his artistic abilities.
Oliver De Coque, who was born in Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, began playing the guitar at a young age, learning classical Igbo music and Congolese soukous.
He infused modern West African highlife with a Congolese-influenced guitar style and lively Igbo dance elements from his childhood.